Biography of Peter Carl Fabergé

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Golden eggs and hen May 30, 1846
September 24, 1920

Who is Peter Carl Faberge?


Also known as Karl Gustavovic Faberze, Russian goldsmith and jeweler Peter Carl Fabergé in St. Petersburg was born on May 30, 1846, German father of Livonia (now geographically belonging to the territory of Estonia), Jeweller Gustav Fabergé and Danish mother, Charlotte Jungstedt.

In 1860 the Fabergé family moved to Dresden, leaving the family business in the hands of managers capable and trusted. Peter Carl began his studies in the field of goldsmith travelling from 1864 throughout Europe, meeting important goldsmiths in Germany, France and England. He perfected his studies in Paris. In 1872, at the age of 26 years, back to St. Petersburg and married Augusta Julia Jacobs.

The work for Fabergé which is widely known are the Easter eggs made 57 in gold, precious and other different materials, in the period between 1885 and 1917, one egg per year.

The first Fabergé egg was commissioned by Tsar Alexander III of Russia as an Easter surprise for his wife Maria Fyodorovna. This work of art consists of opaque white glaze, structured like a Russian Matryoshka (or Chinese); within this first Fabergé egg is an egg of gold, containing in turn a golden colored hen and enamels, whose eyes are composed of Ruby stones. The tub gurnard is a miniature copy of the Imperial Crown, containing in turn a small Ruby with the egg shape.

The Empress was so pleased with the gift that Fabergé was appointed by Alexander III "the Court jeweler"; the next task was to make a similar gift for Easter every year to come: the condition of labor commissioned Russian Goldsmith is that each egg must be unique and must contain a surprise.

Since 1895, the year after his death, Alexander III and after the accession of his son Nicholas II, produced eggs become two per year: one for the new Tsarina Aleksandra Fedorovna Romanova and one for the Queen Mother. Only in 1904-1905 was not any egg because of restrictions imposed by the russo-Japanese war.

The preparation of a full year eggs: once a design was chosen, a team of craftsmen worked to assemble the egg.

Starting from 2006, just twenty-one eggs were still in Russia, most of which are on display at the Museum of the Kremlin arsenal. In February 2004 the Russian entrepreneur Viktor Vekselberg purchased nine eggs formerly owned by American publisher Forbes, making them return so in Russia. Other smaller collections in the Museum of fine arts, Virginia in the New Orleans Museum of art and other museums in the world. Four eggs are in private collections. Of eight eggs are not news.

In exile in Switzerland after the Russian Revolution, Peter Carl Fabergé died in Lausanne on September 24, 1920 at the age of 74 years.